Mining companies donate P30M worth of rice for Palaweños
Mining companies – Rio Tuba Mining Corp. (RTN), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp., and Coral Bay Nickel Corp. (CBNC) – have stepped up to the plate and donated a combined amount of P30 Million to purchase sacks of rice intended for the Palaweños. This is in response to the call of Gov. Jose Ch. Alvarez for a joint public-private sector effort to address the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Palawan with its 1.3 million population was among the first provinces to close its borders on March 17 to adhere to the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) directive of the national government. The closure is particularly hurting the tourism industry of the province which, according to reports, brought in an income of some 83 billion pesos ($1.6 billion) in 2018 alone.
On March 20, Governor Alvarez declared Palawan under a state of calamity.
Earlier, RTN downloaded to the communities in Bataraza a total of P5.5 Million pesos from its realigned Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds, with an additional P560,000 from its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, for relief operations conducted in the mining communities during the ECQ.
The SDMP is a five-year budgeted plan for development programs in the mining communities, which the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has allowed to be realigned during this pandemic in order to assist the mining companies’ host communities and neighboring barangays.
Aside from tourism, mining is another industry in Palawan that brings about economic progress to the communities.
Bataraza Municipal Treasurer, Romana Bermudez, was quoted in a news report saying that RTN and CBNC taxes have a huge impact on the economic growth of Bataraza, a first-class municipality in Southern Palawan where the two companies are based.
According to the municipal treasurer’s record for 2019, RTN has paid P10 million in real property taxes and P33 million in business taxes while CBNC paid P31 million for real property tax and P86 million for business tax.
Gov. Alvarez personally accepted the RTN and CBNC donation and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the people of Palawan.
“This will help feed a lot of people in the province,” he said.
RTN Resident Mine Manager, Eng. Cynthia E. Rosero and CBNC Community Relations Manager, Ernesto Llacuna presented the cheque to Gov. Alvarez.